The guy making $50k is paying the same rate as the guy making $250k. One guy buys an inexpensive car, the other a car with an insurance premium that costs what the first guy's car costs. But they are both paying 5% GST. Funny it is the socialists that are pushing it there as it is to the advantage of the rich guy. If the government was making up the money through income taxes, the guy making the $250k would be paying a progressively higher rate according to how much he makes. We do have a provincial counterpart that does not have any sales tax, Alberta.
While we do have fewer banks it was not the local banks that you have so many of that caused the financial trouble. It was the really big players, the ones that were 'too big to fail'. We had some consolidation of banks here also and the bankers wanted to merge some more using the US example of you have to be real big to compete in the world. Our government said no thanks, you are doing well enough as it is. The reason our banks came out ok is because they were more conservative in their lending practices and the excess money lent out in the US inflating house prices did not happen here. They kept more cash on hand (cash in hand does not make you money). A few more details involved but that pretty much sums it up.
As far as food is concerned you probably would not be short of cuisine here. Because of our ethnic diversity we have food from pretty much every corner of the earth.
Really doubt the US is going away any time soon. She just needs some time to find herself again.